Thursday, May 28, 2009

Random Ramblings in a Thunderstorm

Is there any sound more glorious than the rhythmic rain?  I love rain whenever it comes, but especially when I'm asleep.  There's just something about the "I'm all safe and snug with my pillows, and outside it's nasty" combined with the lovely pitter-splashes (the best "white" noise I know) that makes me smile.  I got rain during my nap today.  A nap in and of itself is a glorious miracle, but when it comes with a thunderstorm, you know God loves you.

I am a napper.  My email signature contains my current favorite quote.  Don't know where I got it, maybe a greeting card, but the quote is:

Consciousness: that annoying time between naps.

I've napped as long as I can remember.  I remember fighting with my mother about it while in high school.  She would want me to be sociable to whatever "project" type person I found in my home that day.  (We used to call them Mom's Strays because it didn't matter whether you were homeless and toothless or jobless or teen-pregnant or a refugee, my mother would befriend you, tell you about Jesus, feed you, and do what she could to help you on  your way.  It was her spiritual gift of mercy in the works, but I was 15, didn't know what a spiritual gift was, though I knew Jesus, I just wanted to NAP.)  Sometimes I was the good daughter, but mostly, I was the sullen, sleepy, teenager with no thought except unconsciousness awaiting.

As a teacher, I always struggled with whatever class was after lunch.  I was just sooooo sleepy, yet I had to be alert (they were 7th graders you know) and nowhere near cranky.  We got through it.  As a mom, I was in perfect company.  My kids would nap, and so would I.  But all that changed when Diamond started pre-school and quit napping.  I had many napless years in there.  But now?  My kids are old enough to entertain themselves quite well and quite safely so I again can have my favorite treat.  And when you're getting up at 4:30, by the afternoon a little pick-me-up is in order, or you'll never be alert enough to put your children to bed.  (Though I will admit to dumping them in bed quickly, and heading straight for mine from time to time.  Does cut down on the grown-up only time with The Engineer.)  So if you're trying to get a hold of me in the afternoon, you'll find a sign on the door which says, "They can't play until 2:30".  My phones will be unplugged and silenced, and I'll be dreaming.  

I started this about rain, though.  You got the nap part for free.
Rain has never ruined any of my plans.  Postponed, changed, cancelled, but not ruined.  It's a matter of attitude, I think.  As a little girl growing up in Sweden, we went to an afternoon class in the woods called, "Mulle School".  Mulle was a woodland character dressed in green with green leaves in her hair, yet looked suspiciously like my 1st grade teacher.  We'd hike in with our mommies and meet her in some secret place that changed every week.  Very exciting!  She would teach us about flora and fauna and Sweden, but most importantly, she taught us the Mulle School Mantra.  "There's no such thing as bad weather, there's just the wrong clothes."  If you know anything about Sweden, you know it's more Seattle than Denver.  Let's put it this way, in the summer they painstakingly COUNT the sun days.  "Summer '79 was a good summer.  We had 12 sun days!"  I'd go to Sweden for my summer visit, spend three weeks, get maybe 3 sun days.  I still remember the best miracle of all was the year we had gotten to spend the day with my relative who lived on an island and had an adorable teen-age son who was just older enough than me to be completely enticing (very, very distant relative, don't get squeamish on me) and who took me and my sister for boat rides all day.  From the "big" island to the smaller islands to the "beach".  In the motor boat, in the canoe.  All in blazing, non-Swedish warm sun.  It was a day to remember.  His name, apparently not worth remembering.  (But I bet my sissie who remembers such stuff oh so much better than I do will retrieve it from her memory banks and tell me).
I love rain when camping.  Mind you, after 25 years of tent camping, I've earned my camper.  I've camped with a port-crib, with a potty-chair, with a high chair, with no sleep and crying kids.  It's a welcome change to just be able to duck inside and listen while the storm splashes away on the aluminum roof.
I love rain while sitting on my covered front porch, just watching it.
I love rain while driving, and wish I could do it without the interrupting noise of the wipers.  (Although the rain we drove home in on Saturday night was a bit over the top.  More like driving straight through a river than in rain)
I love rain in the summer when I walk barefoot in it with my umbrella.
I love rain for the way it makes the air smell and feel.
I don't know if I'd still love rain if I lived in a rainy place, but in often drought stricken and high desert Colorado, we don't get enough of it for me to ever get tired.

And I always have the right clothes.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ok, here I am, for all the world to see...

Why am I writing a blog???  I am a frustrated writer.  I remember as a young girl having some dreams.  One was to be a gymnast.  I didn't think it would EVER happen.  I was (was, you say, doesn't she mean IS??) uncoordinated.  But it did.  It took years of hard work, but I retired 6th in the state as a 16 year old.  The same year I broke my ankle, collar bone, and wrist.  (You caught the uncoordinated part, right?)  

Next, I thought about being a runner.  Could never happen, I thought.  After all, I couldn't make it around the track. How did those people do it??  But I did that too.  After I quit gymnastics (ok, so I hadn't completely quit...I ran cross country and did gymnastics and was in the marching band and had a part time job and was a psychotic over-achiever regarding grades...and almost gave myself an ulcer...) I took up running.  And improved quickly, got to go to NY for a regional meet, lettered, learned the value of team work (running really isn't an individual sport, you see).  I ran in six Boulder Bolders.  Coached track for eight years.  LOVE running still, but that pesky ankle doesn't, so now I walk.  

Which all brings me to my last goal, and back around to the whole writing thing.  The last goal I made as a teenager was to write a book.  I had an absolutely terrific junior year English teacher named Marilee Ruddle.  She was a legend of ferocity at Northwood High in Silver Spring, MD.  She challenged me, encouraged me, got my poetry published, and gave me the writing bug.  Ok, she was also the first teacher to say to me, "This essay is complete crap.  You give the illusion of saying a LOT, but I know the book and you're not saying anything of value about it.  Try again."  Pissed me off.  I'd read the damn book, unlike some classmates, and I'd written damn essay, and dammit, I knew it was crap and how dare she call me on that?  I got As.  All my teachers gave me As in writing.  Who did she think she was?  My first C on anything EVER.  Overachievers out there will recognize me...I set out to prove her wrong.  To get that elusive A from her.  I never did.  She ruined my GPA but gave me immeasurable life lessons.  I love art and poetry and opera and writing because of her.  I worked harder and learned more than in any other class.  But I still haven't written a book.

Instead, I became a math nerd, with a math degree and math teaching job.  And journals.  I have loads and loads of journals.  No one is allowed to read them, not even my best friend who will be known as C.  (She has sworn to burn them upon my death).  So that's why I'm here blogging and writing and I'm excited about this adventure.  I'm not looking for a huge following.  I just want to push myself to write, and if it's going to be out there is the blogosphere, searchable and readable, it will make me try harder.

Here's to a new adventure.  After all, life moves pretty fast.

Life moves pretty fast...

I love that movie, Ferris Bueller's Day Off.  I'd like to stop the world for a day and have adventures.  But for this season of life, it's not usually possible.  As you may have noticed, I started this project MONTHS ago, and have yet to post my first time.  I will admit that part of it is intimidation: what in the WORLD do I say for my first post?  I want to be witty, I want to be funny, I want people to read what I write.  I want people to get to know me.  Call it writer's block, I guess.  Today, when there are no lunches to make for my family, I will just take the plunge.

HI.  Let me introduce my family.  My oldest son is 12.  I will call him Diamond for now.  He doesn't want me to use his name, so we'll go with his video game handle.  It's an appropriate nick-name, since video games are his passion at this stage in his life.  He is my "boy who lived".  It's a special name I call him in tender moments.  You see, both my children are absolute miracles.  I lost 3 babies along the way, and Diamond was born with an apgar of 1.  He was in NICU for 5 agonizing days.  And now he gets practically straight A's, is athletic, and funny, does all the dishes for me (I'm partially handicapped, but that's for another post).  And they said he'd probably have permanent effects from the lack of oxygen during his delivery.  (Without gory details, it was not Caesarean birth, but I was catheterized and in a wheel chair for 3 days after...)(Ok, that was gory...but this is my blog and I suppose that will happen from time to time: the raw truth, as opposed to the "talking about it in public" version that my engineer husband prefers that I use for all topics.  He's shy.  I'm Swedish.
My youngest we'll call YellowBoy.  His favorite color is yellow.  And I'm not talking a favorite color as in a preference.  But yellow as a life obsession.  It's easy to spot his laundry: it's 85% yellow.  His room is Wendy's cup yellow.  If I'm pouring drinks, he needs the yellow cup.  He bought yellow duct tape and makes yellow weapons out of cardboard and said tape.  He thinks all the yellow flowers in my flower bed are "his".  He's 9.  He's creative, and loves acting, and has the sweetest, most tender heart of anyone I've met.  He makes friends easily, but gets hurt easily.  He's eager to please, and does his best to keep up with Diamond.  He does the laundry.  Did I mention he's NINE?
Hubby.  What to nickname him?  Sometimes it's SpongeBob GrumpyPants.  Sometimes it's Most Lovey Man on the Planet.  Let's call him The Engineer for now.  He's an electical engineer for the company that hired him fresh out college.  He's also got his own company that tinkers with cutting edge technology in lighting.  (Hasn't sold anything in a while...but loves to invent and build things.)  He's into gardening, alternate energy, cooking, being  a pack rat, and he's building an electic car in my garage.
Ok, I'm just going to take the plunge and post, because if I don't start somewhere, I'll never be able to see how much better I'm getting at this.  Next post I'll tell you about me.